Nike, Kors, athleisure, denim, Amazon Prime and Disney: What (affluent) US teens like

Michael Kors AW16

Michael Kors AW16

We all want to know what it is that rocks certain consumer groups’ world and US teens are one of the key groups whose heads brands want to get inside. So it’s good news that investment bank and asset manager Piper Jaffray has asked them.

The latest twice-yearly Piper Jaffray Taking Stock with Teens Survey doesn’t go too deep into their motivations but it does find out the stuff that they like.

So who’s number one? Step forward Nike. It gets 29% of the votes in clothing and 51% in footwear. If you add in the 7% of votes going to Nike-owned Converse, that’s a pretty hefty endorsement from the 10,000 teens in 46 states that PJ polled.

They also like American Eagle, Forever 21 and Vans. And 34% of them like Michael Kors bags, while 19% are into Kate Spade.

PJ said total teen spending is down a little compared to a year ago but upper-income teens aren’t reining-in their spending. They’re shelling out 2.5% more and they’re splurging on both fashion and beauty.

Piper Jaffray US teens

And despite everyone getting angsty over the so-called death of denim as athleisure takes the casualwear crown, upper income female teens are still spending more on denim for the second survey in a row. Denim gets a 14% aggregated mindshare in the survey for upper-income female teens. But athletic apparel is definitely on the rise with a new high of a 35% share achieved as Nike, Adidas and Under Armour all gain.

The beauty category’s wallet share among upper-income females reached 10%, its highest value in the survey’s 16-year history. Speciality store formats continue to outpace legacy channels for beauty.

Any other insights? Well, Amazon Prime adoption has grown across all income brackets in each of the past six surveys, most recently indicating Amazon Prime exists in 58% of households of the teens surveyed. This survey, along with other previous Piper Jaffray consumer surveys, suggests that there are 63m-66m Prime households in the US.

Piper Jaffray US teensFor the first time in the survey, YouTube outpaced cable TV when teens respond to how they spend their time. The only two categories that exceed male teen spending on video games (12%) are food (20%) and clothing (16%). Video game spending among males remains above survey history averages.

And the most anticipated movies this year among teens are Fast 8 at number one followed by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and 3 Beauty and the Beast. Overall Disney Studios’ mindshare among teens is on the rise.

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